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Glitterati: Akawelle

Lots of jewelry has stories behind them, but few have one as inspiring as the Akawelle necklace ($75).

When the designer, Lovetta Conto, was only four years old, she and her father fled to a refugee camp from their native Liberia, which was embroiled in a series of brutal civil wars. Now fifteen, Lovetta is the first person to be awarded a Strongheart Fellowship, which aims to create educational and leadership opportunities for young people enduring extreme hardship.

As part of her fellowship, she created the Akawelle necklace. Each one features a leaf charm with LIFE imprinted on it, along with the metal casing of an actual spent bullet from the civil war. "Even after something as terrible as war, new life can begin," Lovetta says of the design. A portion of proceeds benefit Strongheart House, a home and school for other Fellows that will open later this year. Something chic for a good cause? Count me in.

To see more images of the Akawelle necklace,



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